Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this investigation was to study an important international environmental pollution problem. The ASARCO Smelter, the subject of this thesis, was the center of a lawsuit brought by the City of El Paso and the State of Texas. The suit was brought for violations of air standards, including atmospheric lead pollution, in February, 1972. The events surrounding the air quality problem and the results of the trial are dealt with in detail. The growing problem of lead pollution has created an interest in research on lead absorption. The ASARCO Smelter case allowed a large study group of children, the group most susceptible to lead poisoning, to be found in a localized area. These studies conducted by the Federal Center for Disease Control, the El Paso City-County Health Department, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Agency, and the Mexican Ministry of Health, tested a large number of cases. The conclusion was that plumbism (lead poisoning) was a chronic disease possibly affecting up to 10,700 children in the El Paso-Juarez area, and that atmospheric lead pollution must be regulated to prevent further health damage. The ASARCO Smelter case is an international pollution problem because the smelter is located on the U. S.-Mexican border. It is not the only case of international environmental pollution; there are many more of its kind in the world today. To prevent uncontrolled environmental degradation on a world basis, regulation at all levels, including the international level, is required.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Peter Gunn Montague

Second Committee Member

Edwin Chase Hoyt

Third Committee Member

Charles Latif Hyder

Fourth Committee Member

Enid Ethel Howarth

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Architecture Commons